A spunky Big Apple dog who ran away over a week ago was found safe Sunday after sending rescuers on a multi-state hunt that started in the East River and ended at a Home Depot in New Jersey, The Post has learned.
Bailey, a seven-month old German Shepherd-Akita mix, broke out of his owner’s Red Hook yard last Friday and took a dip in the East River close to IKEA soon after, said Harriet Zucker, a dog trainer who helped track the pooch down .
A researcher who was doing work on a barge spotted Bailey “swimming around” at around noon that day and got on his paddle board to help the pup get back to shore. But Bailey, who is very fearful of humans and has behavioral issues, kept swimming away, said Zucker.
The man was eventually able to inherit the dog back to shore, where he collapsed on the rocks and spent several hours sunbathing before vanishing once again, Zucker said.
“We were trying to figure out where he was so we could set up feeding stations then maybe trap him,” she told The Post.
“There was nothing at all, no sightings, nothing.”
A few days later, Zucker plastered missing posters around Red Hook and soon got a tip that Bailey had been spotted near Henry Street and Hamilton Avenue, close to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel entrance.
“Then I got another message that he was in the tunnel,” Zucker laughed.
On Saturday, video posted to twitter showed Bailey galloping through the tunnel as a New York State trooper trailed behind him, shocking motorists who filmed the wild moment.
“Oh he’s coming in our lane!” a passenger, who thought Bailey was a wolf or coyote, is heard saying in the video as the pooch darted through cars.
“This is insane!”
Zucker spoke to an officer manning the tunnel and said Bailey exited in Manhattan and “got out at Trinity Street.”
“You should go into Manhattan and ask them,” the officer said, according to Zucker.
She canvassed downtown but came up empty and planned to spend Sunday posting fliers in Lower Manhattan — when she got a call saying Bailey had crossed state lines and was tracked by the Port Authority police to a Home Depot parking lot in Jersey City.
“It was pretty surprising that he ended up in New Jersey, which is quite an adventure for a puppy that’s never been outside before,” said Zucker.
“The most amazing thing to me is just the journey that he took.”
Aside from a nasty wound on his leg, Bailey was safe and healthy, albeit a bit thinner from a week on the streets, said Zucker.
She’s in the process of reuniting Bailey with his owner and finding a foster for him who can help the pup become less fearful and more adjusted to humans.
“There’s a lot of hope for him, he’s a nice dog,” said Zucker.
“I do think he’s going to be a big snuggle. He needs a person that he’ll know has his back from him all the time.”